closing in on the end of October

i just seem to always get too busy (read: lazy?) to post anything here....ridiculous, really, considering the small amount of time it takes to make some kind of comments about what's going on. however, there have been times (in the last...what...four weeks?) that i've actually considered posting about this or that, but the details seemed more important than a brief gloss over would do justice to, and so: i end up with nothing. not exactly a better alternative....

can't even remember where i left off last time, so i'll try to post something currently relevant and possibly, in the process, address the ever-widening information gap.

let's see. wow, it's been well over a month...

i suppose mentioning that a couple weeks ago i initiated an L&I claim for my left thumb/wrist, which had been bothering me increasingly for the last couple months (since early August). actually, Loren was having some trouble with one of his feet for a couple weeks, intermittently at first, then more regularly, and i took him over to have his Uncle Chris take a look at it, on the off chance that the problem was more serious than it seemed to be. Chris's advice to Loren was to take it easy on it, and wait another week to see if it got better, and if it didn't improve to get it X-rayed. turned out to be unnecessary, it's much better.

while i was there, i mentioned to Chris that i was having trouble with my wrist, and that i thought it must be something related to repetitive motions or something, considering i can't remember doing anything specific to injure it. he asked me to show him where it hurt, and in a very brief examination came to the conclusion that i have something called De Quervain's Tenosynovitis- a repetitive stress injury to two of the tendons from the thumb. they take a diagonal turn over the wrist, passing through a sheath, and continue up the forearm, and they're used in pretty much every grasping motion you can make with your hand. the test for this condition is called a Finklestein's test: you place the thumb in the center of your fist, and rotate the wrist away from the thumb- and this proved extremely painful. it's a no-brainer that this is at least a good deal of the problem i've been having.

knowing the problem and getting it treated are two separate things, and i decided to go to the Everett Clinic close by my house to get it looked at. i opened the L&I claim and went to the doc, mentioned Chris' preliminary diagnosis, and the doc checked it out for himself, performed the same test Chris did, and came to the same conclusion. he prescribed wearing a thumb splint (which i'm wearing at this very moment), and a week's worth of hydrocortizone, in gradually diminishing doses, to fight the inflammation in my wrist. my condition improved somewhat, and i suspect that wearing the brace, which precludes my doing some of the more strenuous activities i perform with regularity at work, had as much to do with it as the steroids did.

at the end of a week i went back and got it re-examined. the movement is better but it's still painful, and my range of motion without pain wasn't much better, though the pain wasn't quite as bad. new presription: another week in the wrist brace/thumb splint, and 800mg 3x/daily ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory). tomorrow's Monday, and after work i'll be heading back to the doc for another look-see.

i'm not seeing as great an improvement in it this week as i did the first one, though it has improved somewhat, and i'm curious to see if the doc's going to immediately jump to shooting my wrist full of hydrocortizone (ostensibly the next step in the treatment procedure, and likely the last one before surgery may be indicated). i'm also wondering if it's possible that he'll recommend i continue another week in this brace (and the anti-inflammatories) before shooting me up. i'll find out tomorrow.

i've pretty much concluded that i'll let it go as far as getting my wrist shot full of hydrocortizone before consulting a specialist, but i'll certainly seek the advice of a specialist before consenting to any surgery...this is my hand we're talking about here, the dominant one at that, and i'll be damned if i want just anyone cutting into my wrist....i've never had any problems with my wrists before, and i want an expert doing the diagnosis before anyone touches me with a knife.

on to other subjects.

in my usual obsessive manner i've begun downloading and conventionalizing (in my way) a series of live performances from the group Sound Tribe Sector 9...an ongoing project. they're a jam band that's kinda captured my attention; not everything they do is golden, but they're definitely good, and free music is always welcome. i found a large cache of their stuff here as, well as a ton of other free, legal, live music downloads at the same overall site here. i like the idea of taper-friendly bands, and i think it's interesting that a group would consider their live performances open season for bootlegging, in this day and age. while i certainly understand a group's prerogative to maintain financial control of their work, and their inclination to profit from it, i have to admit i respect that there are musicians who are more motivated to expose people to their music first and profit from it second. since i certainly don't consider the (pitifully few) recordings of the music i've written to meet a sufficient standard of professionalism to be commercially viable, i've allowed (some of) them to be freely distributed for the sake of the music itself. i'm not sure i'd do the same with recordings which were more professionally produced, at a greater expense, but i'd certainly consider, at least in the short term, allowing recordings of my live performances to be freely distributed. especially in the short term, that's excellent publicity. of course, since i'm not currently performing, it's a purely philosophical position....maybe someday i'll be lucky enough to have the opportunity to put it to the test. in any case, Sound Tribe's pretty good, check 'em out.

changing gears again:

Loren spent the weekend here this weekend, most welcome, as always. we didn't do much. watched a lot of Star Trek. i let him stretch his legs on his computer, which i recently got running, after a long- much too long- period of down time. actually, kudos go to my friend Nic at work, who made the suggestion (which i'm slightly embarassed to admit now i didn't think of myself), of trying a USB mouse on the machine. sure enough, though the trouble with Loren's computer likely started as a combination of problems, after completely wiping the system and starting from scratch, it's evident that the last remaining problem was a faulty PS/2 mouse connector on the motherboard, and the USB mouse is an effective bypass. so, i spent the majority of last weekend installing and configuring games on his machine, and this weekend he spent a good deal of his time enjoying the fruits of my labor. my mom salvaged a computer desk from her next door neighbors and it fit into the only possible place Loren's computer desk can be located, so it's an upgrade from the other free-on-the-side-of-the-road table that was serving as his computer desk....an upgrade all the way around. and i gained a laundry table, a little more horizontal space with which to offload and fold clothes. i also picked up a new mouse for this dinosaur-of-a-computer, an optical one, which effectively ended the maddeningly frustrating experience of using the dilapidated $7 old-school ball mouse i've had for the last year or so. should have spent the $20 a long time ago, but couldn't stomach spending more for a really nice mouse....maybe when i get my new computer, which i'm completely chomping at the bit for, since using Loren's machine for a few days...way outclasses this one. Loren's computer (predominantly donated by my dad, though i contributed a few components) has three times the processing speed, three times the memory, twice as good a video card, a faster CD drive, and double the hard drive space. the only thing better on my computer than Loren's are the speakers and the sound card. the speakers stay on my machine, but Loren will likely inherit this SB Live! card when i upgrade as well.

enough on Loren's computer.

i spent a fair amount of time this weekend doing chores, getting other horizontal spaces cleared. Loren and i watched plenty of Star Trek; we're now through the first two seasons of TNG, DS9, and VOY. no series hits a home run every at-bat, and the Star Trek series are no exception, but by and large they're the most entertaining shows on television (and occasionally brilliant) and pretty much Loren's favorite TV. we continue to work our way through the Fullmetal Alchemist anime series as well, and we're still plugging away (more slowly) though the Frieza saga of Dragonball Z. we've seen most of those before, but it's fun to watch them in order, without commercial interruptions.

today was week 7's big day for the NFL; the Seahawks lost at home to the Vikings, likely largely due to Matt Hasselbeck's game-ending knee sprain early in the 3rd quarter. Seneca Wallace came in and handed the ball off once before throwing an interception, and the Seahawks never recovered. they've had to deal with a few key personel changes and some key player injuries this season, but they're doing fairly well despite today's loss. everyone here's hoping for a repeat trip to the Super Bowl (though a rematch with the Steelers seems increasingly unlikely at this point) and they've certainly got a shot at it. i'm personally getting amped for the NBA to get underway. spent a little time this weekend checking out the NBA fantasy leagues offered on NBA.com; so far haven't officially begun a team with a viable league yet, but there's still hope....which reminds me i should go check on that...

work is still work. i've spent the last two weeks mostly running the CNC torch, which is the easiest thing for me to do in this wrist contraption. i expect i'll be doing the same tomorrow, before i head out to the doc.

i suppose that's enough for one post. always seem to be playing catch-up on the blog lately. guess there's nothing really to do for that; sometimes you make a choice between living your life or writing about it...and if you spend too much time writing about it you start writing about writing about it...and who wants to read that? not me.

ciao and if you haven't seen it, watch Miyazaki's Porco Rosso- it's a good flick.


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